After two rough losses yesterday, Mizzou (14-11, 1-4) will look to steal a win at home from Baylor (15-9, 3-3). Today's lineups:
Logan Vick LF
Brooks Pinckard DH
Joey Hainsfurther 3B
Raynor Campbell 2B
Max Muncy 1B
Chris Slater CF
Tyler Collins RF
Gregg Glime C
Landis Ware SS
Willie Kempf P (4.70 ERA, 20 K/13 BB in 23.0 innings pitched)
Michael Liberto SS
Andrew Thigpen 2B
Aaron Senne 1B
Brett Nicholas C
Andreas Plackis DH
Dane Opel RF
Blake Brown LF
Jesse Santo 3B
Brannon Champagne CF
Aaron Blunt P (3.32 ERA, 9 K/9BB in 21.2 IP)
It's a gorgeous but windy day at Simmons Field. The wind looks to be blowing in from right field and it's gusting pretty heavily, so it'll be tough to hit a home run out to right.
Top 1—Baylor gets on the board on a single, walk, bunt, and sacrifice fly to go up 1-0. Blunt followed that up with a hit-by-pitch and walk, but struck out Tyler Collins to leave the bases loaded.
Blunt's not a pitcher who can afford too many walks—with his stuff, he has to keep the ball down and change speeds well. He was able to wiggle out of that rough first inning nicely, but given the strength of Baylor's lineup, he can't afford to pitch like that again today.
Top 3—Baylor tacks on four runs thanks to some timely hitting and sloppy Missouri defense. I've been extremely impressed with Baylor's lineup over the weekend, and one thing is for certain: you can't give this team extra opportunities, whether it's because of a bad throw, bobbled ball, or even a walk.
Meanwhile, Mizzou's offense hasn't put up much of a fight through two innings against Kempf. Ever since the bullpen implosion in game one, Mizzou has looked like a team without a spark.
With two out and the bases loaded, Jamieson pulls Blunt from the game for Brad Buehler. To be concise, this game was not exactly good for Blunt's chances to stay in Missouri's rotation as the season goes on.
All photos were taken by JJ Stankevitz, KMOV.com.
Aaron Blunt delivers a pitch in the third inning.
Brooks Pinckard (16) beats Aaron Blunt (14) to first base in the top of the third.
Joey Hainsfurther connects for a single in the top of the third.
Max Muncy follows through on an RBI single in the top of the third.
Joey Hainsfurther (1) is congratulated by teammates after scoring Baylor's third run of the game in the third inning.
Bottom 3—Mizzou puts runners on the corners with two out, but Andrew Thigpen strikes out looking to end the inning. The call was somewhat questionable, but all the amateur umpires in the crowd were riding home plate umpire Wes Hamilton pretty hard after it.
Through three, Mizzou is still without a hit while Baylor already has seven.
Bottom 4—Finally, Mizzou gets the spark it needed. Aaron Senne and Brett Nicholas led the inning off with back-to-back singles and, after an Andreas Plackis strikeout, Dane Opel got Mizzou on the board with an RBI double. That was followed by a two-run single off the bat of Blake Brown to cut the score to 5-3.
Mizzou didn't stop there, though. Jesse Santo followed up Brown's single with a single of his own to put runners on the corners for Brannon Champagne. That hit by Santo knocked Willie Kempf out of the game for reliever Jon Ringenberg.
Ringenberg got Baylor out of the inning, throwing out Brannon Champagne on a bunt attempt (failed squeeze? Brown was on third at that point) and getting Mike Liberto to ground out to third. Still, that's a big three-run inning to get Mizzou back into this game.
Brad Buehler fires a pitch in the top of the fourth.
Brett Nicholas connects for a single in the bottom of the fourth. He would later score on a single by Blake Brown.
Andreas Plackis strikes out in the bottom of the fourth.
Dane Opel fouls a pitch off in the bottom of the fourth. He would later double in the at-bat.
Top 5—Baylor picks up a huge momentum-stopping run on an RBI single by Brooks Pinckard. Last year, Trevor Coleman (who now is in the Seattle Mariners organization) talked a lot about following up a scoring inning by holding your opponent to no runs in the next frame. Doing so helped build momentum, and not doing so often killed momentum.
Mizzou's response to that run scoring could determine whether they get back in this game.
Bottom 5—That was a roller coaster of an inning for Mizzou. It started great on a single by Andrew Thigpen and double by Aaron Senne, but Brett Nicholas grounded out and Andreas Plackis struck out with runners on second and third.
But just when all was looking lost in the inning, Dane Opel picked up his teammates with a two-run double over Tyler Collins' head in right field to score both runs and bring the score to 6-5 in favor of Baylor.
Top 6—Baylor comes right back with a run of their own on a gargantuan home run by Max Muncy. The ball bounced pretty high up off the wall of the indoor practice facility over the right field fence—the estimate from the press box was that the homer was about 450 feet.
The home run put Baylor up by two, 7-5.
Bottom 6—Back-to-back walks to Jesse Santo and Brannon Champagne, a bunt by Michael Liberto, and a groundout by Andrew Thigpen brings a run home to make the score 7-6.
After Aaron Senne was hit by a pitch, Brett Nicholas drilled a two-run double off the high center field batter's eye to give Mizzou its first lead of the game at 8-7. Andreas Plackis followed that up with an RBI single to bring Nicholas home and give Mizzou a 9-7 lead.
Dane Opel popped out to end the inning, but four huge runs crossed the plate. All nine runs Mizzou has scored have come in the last three innings.
Brad Buehler is still on the mound to begin the top of the seventh.
Top 7—Baylor refuses to go away as Logan Vick takes Brad Buehler deep for a solo home run, the second home run Buehler has allowed.
A hustle double by Brooks Pinckard knocked Buehler out of the game. With two out, Phil McCormick came into the game and gave up a game-tying triple to Joey Hainsfurther that just landed in fair territory down the right field line.
If I'm taking one thing away from this weekend series, it's how good Baylor's offense is. They're patient and they're great at putting the ball in play. They also take advantage of every mistake their opponent makes, and that's why they're so ruthlessly efficient.
Bottom 7—With two out, Brannon Champagne and Mike Liberto both singled, and an error on Liberto's single allowed Champagne to advance to third. Andrew Thigpen then came up with a huge two-out single that scored Champagne, and that's when all hell broke loose.
When the throw from centerfield went in to third, Thigpen took off for second. The throw from third baseman Joey Hainsfurther was low and there was a collision between Thigpen and second baseman Raynor Campbell. The ball trickled way from Campbell and Liberto raced home to score the second run. On the throw home, Thigpen advanced to third.
Senne followed that up with a chopper up the middle to score Thigpen and give Mizzou a 12-9 lead.
However, with Baylor's offense, no lead is safe—so this one could come right down to the wire.
Top 8—Jeff Emens cruises through a 1-2-3 inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced. That was a huge inning—holding Baylor at bay in the eighth means BU will only have three outs to score at least three runs, provided Mizzou can't add on anything else in the bottom of the inning.
Bottom 8—After recording his third double of the game, Dane Opel scores on a two-out single by Jesse Santo to extend Mizzou's lead to 13-9. Mizzou's two-out hitting has been huge today after struggling in that regard yesterday.
Top 9—Emens pitches over a one-out walk to nail down the 13-9 win for Mizzou. The win pushes Mizzou to 2-4 in the Big 12 and drops Baylor to 3-4.